BYU Outside Linebacker Fred Warner joined Tanner Mangum Monday morning as one of the players named to a preseason award watch list.
Warner was named to the Bednarik Award watch list, which is given annually to the top defensive player in college football.
Time for preseason watch lists... Fred Warner on Benarik Award watch list (best defensive player in college football pic.twitter.com/LmPEQqpMdf— Robby McCombs (@rtmccombs) July 10, 2017
A year after transitioning from outside linebacker in Bronco Mendenhall’s 3-4 scheme, Warner didn’t miss a beat in the new 4-3 defense. Warner led the team with a career high 86 tackles, and added 10.5 TFL, 2 forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks, and 3 interceptions, including one SportsCenter top 10 pick 6 versus Boise State.
Warner was utilized more in coverage situations than in his first two seasons, but coaches have talked about letting him rush the pass more, which should increase his sack total this year.
Warner highlights a defense that could be one of the best in the nation. BYU returns all 3 starting linebackers, 3 of 4 starters in the secondary, and multiple starters along the defensive line, including the return of defensive end Sione Takitaki.
Congrats to Fred on receiving national recognition as one of the best defensive players in college football!